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Originally Published by Billings Gazette

As tired as we all are of how COVID-19 has shaped the world we live in, it is still important to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance on staying home when children and adults are infected with the pandemic virus. Unfortunately, there are many other viruses and bacteria making us sick.

Since school resumed in August, and with it the RiverStone Health School-based Clinics, I have seen more and more kids being sent to school with active illness. When asked, students tell me that their home COVID-19 test was negative, so their parents sent them to school.

At that point, it is up to the child’s healthcare provider to determine when the child should return to school. I’m often asked how this decision is made. My answer is: It depends on the child’s symptoms. The three main symptoms that affect the child’s return to school are fever, vomiting and diarrhea.

• Fever is a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees. This should be the standard for keeping a child out of school.

• Vomiting should keep a child out of school. A child may return to school 48 hours after the last episode of vomiting.

• Diarrhea should keep a child home sick. A child with diarrhea may return to school 48 hours after the last episode of diarrhea.

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infection prevention